Some things are not meant to be “Outsourced”.

Recently, I came across a friend of mine that I had not seen in ages. And, frankly, I would not have recognized her if she hadn’t called out my name. I remember her as a beautiful, vibrant lady in her mid 40’s. The last time we spoke, she was dashing off to Ensenada to have some dental work done. I always admired her million dollar smile that could light up the darkest room.

Linda was flanked by her 18 year old son. They decided to stop by the San Diego Visitors Information Center (a place I once worked) to say hi. Mother and (adorable) son were craving an Arizona Tea before embarking on a one hour trek into Mexico. “Why, on earth, would one go to Mexico to receive dental care?” I asked her. She replied, “If you pay in cash, it’s a third cheaper than state-side”. I wasn’t prepared for her response and fought back the urge to say, “Why Mexico? You don’t live in Mexico!”

After our brief conversation, I tried my best to hide my concerns, picked up their tab for their drinks and wished Linda and her son a good day. I had not seen Linda until the other day. She was not the same Linda I saw almost 5 years ago. “So, what have you been up to”, I asked. Honestly, I was thinking, “What the hell happened to you?”

Linda,  immediately,  launched into the horrific details of her visit to the dentist in Ensenada that hot summer day five years ago. “I was getting a root canal done for cheap and the procedure ended up destroying all of my teeth and part of my jaw.” The saying “I told you” was so on the tip of my tongue but, so inappropriate to say at the time. “How did this happen”, I asked. Linda told me that the dentist turned out to be a fraud. “He had a fake license, fake degrees and a fake business.” Yet, he was highly recommended by the elite social crowd she was a part of.

Bernie Maddoff came to mind.

Linda went on to say that her routine surgery was botched by “non professionals who were good at acting their part”. Damage was evident and by the time she returned to the dentist’s office it was too late. They had packed up shop, took down their shingle and vanished into the night.

Linda tried to seek help “state-side” to salvage what was left of her (once) beautiful smile and face. She had no such luck. Because the work was done in Mexico, it was not backed by her “state-side” insurance. In a nutshell, she was considered “damaged goods” in both countries. I couldn’t help but, to feel sorry for Linda. No amount of money could restore her original beauty. Needless to say, depression set in for Linda.Mexico is not short of these stories. A friend of a friend went to Mexico and received a botched “boob job” that left her (physically and mentally) scarred for life and “boob-less”. There went the young starlet’s career. Shingle down, shop closed, all are gone.

The more I mention Linda’s story to others, the more I hear that this is “common practice” in Mexico. Now, before you read this the wrong way, I want to make one thing clear; I’m not picking on Mexico. Many Americans have traveled to other countries to seek medical attention and wound up in similar situations.

Do your homework, folks!

My mother, god bless her soul, once said, “You buy cheap…You get cheap.” When I broke this golden rule, on several occasions, I never felt as though I had the right to complain to others. I got what I bought. But, Linda didn’t deserve this, nor, did the young, actress who is a friend of a friend.

The only time I venture into Mexico is to visit friends, pick up the occasional trinket, or, to enjoy a “bad ass” Margarita. At the least, I know that their tequila will keep “Montezuma’s Revenge” from knocking on my door.

– H. James

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~ by adhna on September 9, 2009.

2 Responses to “Some things are not meant to be “Outsourced”.”

  1. This is a very powerful post about a very tragic story. Thanks for writing it. In today’s world the phrase “let the buyer beware” has more importance then it ever did, perhaps in the entire history of human civilization.

    We’ve all be damaged by lies and fraud. American television is almost completely free of “truth enforcement” except for the most egregious of cases, and even those are allowed to linger for years before they get shut down.

    It seems to me the problem of falsehoods is growing and I’m just not sure what, if anything, can be done about it. We may have some scary times ahead of us.

    • Thanks howbigspill. I just so happened upon your comment today. You are very kind. Adhna is my twin sister’s blog and I don’t catch most comments in time. I aqpologize
      for not seeing it earlier. 🙂 -H. James

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